Spa Talk With Pamela Maes of Breve Spa at the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport

Meet Pamela Maes, spa director at Breve Spa at the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport.

Photo credit: Pamela Maes

How many years have you been involved in the spa/hospitality industry?

Officially 12 years, but spa and beauty has been part of my life growing up. When you have a passion for this industry, time melds together and doesn’t feel isolated just to your work history!

What was the path that led you into the spa industry?  

I established a love for beauty by playing with my mother’s makeup as a kid and shifted an interest in skincare as a young adult. Amazingly enough, I picked up a copy of American Spa while waiting in an office, which opened my eyes to turn passion into a career. Working in a variety of settings, I found resort spas allowed me to thrive and explore this exciting and evolving field.

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being in the spa industry?  

The challenge and reward complement each other. Sifting through the treatment development, products, and curating unique experiences takes a lot of time to ensure I establish the best relationships with the right companies that fit my spa. I love the process; it can be painstaking, but also makes my heart smile, when everything falls in place.

What is your proudest accomplishment?  

Fostering a team and creating positive memorable experiences. It is an honor to be a part of team, where we can all celebrate professional and personal milestones. 

What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?  

The need for self-care among service providers and spa professionals. We are an industry of givers, so we quickly overlook ourselves!

Where do you think the industry is heading? 

Experience development. A lot of consumers have access to in-home spa treatments, so creating unique in-spa experiences that continue to drive guests to the spa. Lately, I have been spending a lot of time looking spa as a sensory experience and engaging in sound and light therapies.

What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?

I love antioxidant blends. Astaxanthin from algae is a great antioxidant that supports our skin cell health. 

What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career?

When I was an active esthetician 10 years ago, it solidified how impactful self-care was to our mental and emotional strength. 

Was there a time you had to make a decision in your career that ended up changing your destiny? 

My decision to go back to esthetics school rather than settling with my “safe” career. I am grateful that I kept my resolve to leave my comfort zone and pursue a passion.

How did you handle that challenge and what was your thought process?  

I kept reminding myself where I saw myself in a month, season, year, five years, etc. I often included my goals in New Year's Resolutions and would review what I accomplished. Seeing my goals exceeded, really cemented my resolve and decision-making. If I didn’t meet my goal, I started asking myself questions: Is this the right goal? Do I need more resources? What challenges exist in my path?

If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would you be?  

I love spa too much. I always imagine myself in a position where I continue to educate and introduce wellness to others.

How would you sum up your personal philosophy?

Through struggle is learning. What looks like a setback, is just learning in progress. 

How do you like to spend your time away from work?

Being outside. I love hiking and have a bucket list of trees and forests to see. Our family vacations are centered around National Parks and heritage sites.

What are your three greatest priorities in life?  

Family, adventure, and my skincare routine. 

What’s the best advice you’ve received? 

It’s your time: spend it, don’t waste it.